Saudi sovereign fund to invest up to $10 bn in Brazil

Saudi Arabia may invest up to $10 billion in a fund to be managed by the Brazilian government, Foreign Affairs Minister Ernesto Araújo said after a meeting with Prince Mohammad bin Salman. The minister said the fund has not defined yet what it will invest in, but mentioned infrastructure projects in transportation and energy. A committee made up of representatives from both countries should meet in “two to three weeks” to determine how much will be invested and where, Chief of Staff Onyx Lorenzoni said.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

 

Petrobras expects to sell first refinery by March 2020, CEO says

Petrobras, which expected to sell at least one refinery asset this year, will likely sign the first sales contract only in the first quarter of next year in order to accommodate the high demand from potential investors, CEO Roberto Castello Branco said. More than 20 companies have shown interest in the first round of divestments that the staterun oil company is planning, which includes the Rnest refinery in Pernambuco state, Rlam in Bahia, Repar in Paraná, and Refap in Rio Grande do Sul, Mr. Castello Branco said. Petrobras wants to sell eight of its 13 refineries, thus holding on to half of Brazil’s refining capacity. Offers for the first package of assets will be received until November, and there should be “good news sometime around March” of next year, he said.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

 

Delivery app iFood sees 50% increase in volume

The food delivery app iFood, the leader in the Brazilian market, expanded the number of orders it receives by almost 50% in just the first nine months of this year. As of September, it delivered 159 million orders, compared with 107 million in all of 2018, according to controller Movile. In the past year the company also expanded to 882 cities in Latin America from 400 a year earlier, and the number of delivery people jumped to 86,000, compared with 12,000 a year earlier. The past year has also seen the company, based in Osasco, São Paulo, offer benefits to workers, such as health and motorcycle insurance, as well as eliminating bonuses for workers making extra deliveries during a specific period, due to fears it was increasing traffic accidents.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

 

Phone companies to test 5G compatibility with TV signals

Brazil’s main phone operators are expected to finalize tests this week to show that 5G mobile operations won’t interfere with satellite signals for digital TV services. Telefônica Vivo, Claro, TIM and Oi are working with the Research and Development Center (CPQD) in Rio de Janeiro in hopes of showing that their R$460-million solution to avoid interference – involving the installation of filters and adaptors – will work. Television companies have said that investments of up to R$2.7 billion would be necessary to switch the phone services to different frequencies in order to avoid problems, a cost that would then be passed on to the telecom companies when they buy access to 5G networks next year.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

 

Cacique to build new soluble coffee plant in Espírito Santo

Cacique, the top exporter of soluble coffee in Brazil, on Friday laid the cornerstone of a plant with the potential to expand its revenue by 30%. The group’s second production facility will be built in Linhares, Espírito Santo, and cost around $60 million. When the plant starts operating, likely at the beginning of 2021, it will increase the company’s traditional soluble coffee production capacity by 12,000 tonnes, which should result in an increase in revenue. The total capacity now is 32,000 tonnes per year. In 2018, Cacique’s revenue reached $230 million.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

 

Expansion of Brics bank will begin with five new members

The New Development Bank, as the so-called Brics bank is officially known, plans to open itself up to five new members. Starting next year, Brazil will occupy the chief executive spot on the bank (capitalized by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) for a five-year term, and as such will spearhead the expansion effort, which is looking at 20 possible candidates. Under the expansion effort, the Brics bank hopes to double the bank’s capital from $50 billion currently to $100 billion, thus allowing it to expand lending for infrastructure projects by as much as fourfold, to $40 billion a year in 2027. The expansion plan had been in the works for a while, but hit a snag when Russia insisted on the power to veto new members, which in the end it was denied.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

 

Brazil negotiates avocado exports to Japan, melon and pork to China

Brazil will be able to export melons to China and may soon be able to export pork, while opening up its own market to imports of Chinese pears, Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina said. A source close to talks said additional Brazilian slaughterhouses may be cleared in the coming days to ship pork to China. During President Jair Bolsonaro’s trip to neighboring Japan, talks progressed on the possible export of Hass avocados to the country. Fresh beef from Brazil continues to be barred, however. Talks are ongoing, but with no expectations of when that ban will be lifted.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

 

GSK in talks with Brazil companies to sell skin-care product lines

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) put its skin care products up for sale in Brazil and is on the hunt for buyers, Valor has learned. Brazilian pharmaceutical companies like EMS and Hypera, as well as cosmetics companies like Natura and O Boticário are among the companies that GSK has spoken with to buy brands such as Fisiogel, Spectraban, Acne-Aid, Sunmax, and Clindo, two sources said. GSK wants to focus on over-the-counter drugs, one executive said. Financial advisors Greenhill are leading the negotiations, which are still in a preliminary phase.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

 

Public works halted by Federal Court of Accounts falls by half

The number of public works recommended to be shut down by the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) this year has fallen in half when compared with the list published last year. Five projects were barred this year by the TCU, compared to ten in 2018. In fact, only one new project has been the subject of a court request for shutdown this year: the adaptation of a stretch of BR-116 road in Bahia. The other four projects were already included on last year’s list. The list includes the Alagoas Hinterland Canal; the construction of the BR-040 road, in Rio de Janeiro; the bus corridor on Radial Leste Avenue, in São Paulo; and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Palmas, Tocantins. These public works showed signs of serious irregularities which justify freezing the transfer of public funds.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international

 

Lower house committee passes military pension reform bill

The special committee in the lower chamber of Congress approved the basic text of a bill to reform military pensions, which includes police officers and fire departments. The Workers Party (PT) inserted an amendment to extend a bonus – previously reserved for commissioned officers – to lower-ranking personnel, in exchange for agreeing to skip a floor vote and allowing another 10% bonus to senior officers only to remain in the bill. The committee will vote on additional amendments next week, after which the bill goes to the Senate for a vote.

Source: Valor Econômico

http://www.valor.com.br/international